I have to admit that, like many Evertonians, when Roberto Martinez was appointed to manage our great club, I was very sceptical.

Given that he had just managed a Wigan team that was relegated with a defence more leaky than a colander and a record that compared unfavourably with Bruce & Jewell, I certainly had nightmares that all of a sudden the team would forget how to defend, become lazy and over-elaborate when in possession.

His initial transfer dealings and the first few games of the season did little to ease my concerns and frustrations. I think many were left decidedly underwhelmed by the signings of Kone & Alcaraz and draws against Norwich, West Brom and Cardiff.

But as transfer deadline day came along with some good signings (Barry and Lukaku) but I was again sceptical that we had overpaid for McCarthy.

As the new way of playing out from the back was being bed in, we got away with some howlers to scrape a win against Chelsea and got what we deserved at Man City. There were concerns that, in a complete reverse from the previous era, we had become too predictable playing out from the back and not mixing things up so that opponents could counter our style.

Since that game, I think the penny has dropped with Martinez that he needs to have a varied game plan whilst keeping a basic principle that, where sensible, we should play more short passes from the back to retain possession and relieve the pressure. This ability to not be too constrained by a particular style has impressed me and, let’s face it, hes a young manager still learning in the game and taking a step up in terms of pressure and expectation.

I have also been pleased with how McCarthy has bedded into the team and can now be considered a key component whereas in previous years he had struggled to hold down a starting spot at Wigan! His work rate, energy and enthusiasm are particularly pleasing all he needs to add to his game are some goals but I think that this will come in time as his confidence grows.

Another pleasing aspect has been Martinezs willingness to bring youngsters on. I wont linger too much on Barkely as his involvement was expected and development rapid but I am pleased that, when a late defensive sub is required, he calls upon Stones rather than Heitinga. This will hasten his development and ability to step up to a starting berth in the event of injury and suspension.

Hopefully we will see more of the same with Garbutt, Lundstram, Duffy, Long & Grant in the near future.

Ive also been pleased that he has given Oviedo the confidence that he is first choice in event of Baines being unavailable, which will definitely be a positive should the inevitable transfer happen in January.

All-in-all, while I thought Martinez would fail and wed be at the wrong end of the table I am more than happy to be proved completely wrong. Long may it continue.


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Iain Love
1 Posted 20/12/2013 at 15:40:29
I'm in agreement about bringing in Martinez, ok he won a cup but also finally got Wigan relegated after a few near misses .
My main concern was after those near misses nothing appeared to change and it was almost inevitable that Wigan would go down. I also thought that whilst Jags & Distin are fine defenders they have never shown that skill in distribution that Martinez system requires.
So far I have had nothing to complain about and i'm delighted that he appears to be able to read my mind when it comes to substitutions . I'm now enjoying watching us play and confident that injuries apart we will have a much better season than I originally thought when Martinez first arrived.
Si Cooper
2 Posted 20/12/2013 at 16:07:49
Talk about damning with faint praise!

'Fess up, the manager simply knows far more about football and players than the vast majority of fans.

I was completely ambivalent with RM's appointment. I couldn't be sure he would be a success but I was sure that the overall performance of Wigan was not a sound indicator of what he could do with the squad he inherited. The way Wigan played sporadically gave me hope that he had the something extra that OFM seemingly didn't.

Rather than the penny dropping for the manager (which is the worst statement in this OP), it has dropped for the players - possibly sooner than any of us could have reasonably hoped for. I have seen nothing to suggest that the manager has in any way had to go back to the drawing board so far this season.

Clarence Yurcan
3 Posted 20/12/2013 at 16:17:35
I was always pro-Martinez. It amazed me that people focused on Wigan getting relegated. Wigan is terrible, even Sir Alex Ferguson couldn't have saved them from relegation. Any manager will look bad when managing mediocre (or poor) players. Yet no one wanted to focus on how he took that sad outfit and won the FA Cup, defeating Man City (and embarrassing Everton) in the process! Meanwhile, everything I always said about Moyes is being proved true, he is an average manager, certainly not a great one. It feels so good to be right!
Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 20/12/2013 at 16:28:36
In complete agreement with Si #645 It's not RM that has changed it is the players who have started to grasp what it was the Boss expected and I'm pretty sure he was as disappointed with the performance at Selhurst Park as many of the fans were. I think it will be next summer and beyond that RM's abilities will be tested as he goes about making the necessary changes to the squad.
Tony Draper
5 Posted 20/12/2013 at 16:34:38
Inevitably after 11 years of stability I had misgivings about anyone who took up the Managers position

I had no single clear favourite candidate (OK I did have a dream list, but couldn't see any of them actually holding a Royal Blue & White scarf aloft)

When Roberto's Wigan dismantled us in the FA Cup I'm afraid that my last lingering scrap of tolerance for dm finally evaporated and I had gone from devotee to a thoroughly convinced MOB'er, I really had had more than enough of his bullshit n bottling

By turns I was just delighted when Wigan won the cup (Peg-Leggy included) and desperately sad when they failed to avoid relegation

When Roberto Martinez was appointed I was happy enough, because as I said at the time one of my criteria was that I just had to like our new manager, simple as that, I had plenty of other boxes to be ticked but liking the new guy was a not for negotiation matter (hence 'arry redkrapp was a definate NO!)

And as we were told that RM wanted a unique and exciting style of football befitting our great traditions I was already beginning to dream, but I also just loved the way Roberto fully immersed himself in the whole ethos of what Everton is to us all

As soon as the ink of his signature was dry I recall saying that I would give him at least six months (meaning really half the season) and that as a first season I'd be content to show in both cups (1/4 finals......) and finish comfortably in the top ten

Thus far against the yardsticks I think:
the League Cup was a disappointment and below what I'd hoped
League position looks like RM is well ahead of acceptable
FA Cup yet to come
And the "just have to like our new manager" criteria ? Top Class could not be happier on that score

But what I really had not been ready for was seeing class football again, fearless positive attacking football

I feel like a pit pony let out into a sunny green pasture and so enjoying the here and now that frankly the dark demons hold no fears

Good man Roberto

Barry Rathbone
6 Posted 20/12/2013 at 17:46:03
Terrific, not even half a season and history is being re-written.

"Since that game, I think the penny has dropped with Martinez.."

Call the police.

Phil Sammon
7 Posted 20/12/2013 at 17:43:26
Si Cooper

'Rather than the penny dropping for the manager (which is the worst statement in this OP), it has dropped for the players - possibly sooner than any of us could have reasonably hoped for. I have seen nothing to suggest that the manager has in any way had to go back to the drawing board so far this season.'

Absolutely agree. That particular comment in the OP annoyed me too and you are completely correct in your dissection.

The players were adapting and didn't know how to play the Martinez way. Jags, Distin and Howard saw far too much of the ball and we looked out of ideas at times. Fast forward a few months and the players have simply got much much better at doing what they are asked to do. Distin and Jags have adapted better than I could have hoped given their respective ages. Even Howard, whose distribution I've always criticised, is now looking to spring counter attacks as soon as he fields the ball.

All the credit goes to Martinez and the players. He has stuck to his principles and the players have taken them on to great effect.

Steve Pugh
8 Posted 20/12/2013 at 18:55:12
Si & Phil, totally agree.
Stuart O'Malley
9 Posted 20/12/2013 at 18:59:34
The op also states that mccarthy struggled to get in the wigan side.....i wonder how he has managed 250 senior games then? All with Hamilton ?....and also completely agree with Si,the only penny dropping was with the players. RM knows exactly what he is doing, and has from day one. Faint praise indeed.
Nicholas Ryan
10 Posted 20/12/2013 at 19:27:44
Selby Wells ... what a fantastic name!!
Tony J Williams
11 Posted 20/12/2013 at 19:38:18
To be fair I wasn't overly impressed with the appointment but I like to wait until I pass judgment. Early doors yet but I am certainly liking what I see.

First season I thought if he matched the points/position of Moyes I would be satisfied, looks like we may do even better.....fingers crossed.

Jim Lloyd
12 Posted 20/12/2013 at 19:28:37
Well, Selby, I may have comp[letely misunderstood your post, so forgive me if I have.

It seems to me that you are trying to excuse your initial assessment of our manager by saying that "like many other fans" you were sceptical of his appointment and had nightmares about us sinking into oblivion.

You further pointed out that you were, along with many other fans, distinctly underwhelmed by the purchase of Kone and Alcaraz.

The sense of doom apparently magnified itself exponentially throughout the first three games, though it seems now that you have graciously accepted him, having pointed out that "he has now learnt the error of his ways"

There were a large number of strong views expressed against his appointment but whether that was "many other fans" or a smaller number repeatedly arguing against his appointment and, subsequently, his purchases. There were also many other (or again, a smaller number of fans repeatedly arguing in support of his appointment and his subsequent purchases.

As I said, I may have misread your post but it would have made things clearer if you had said "I think I got it wrong" rather than appearing to say " the manager has learnt his lesson."

James Flynn
13 Posted 20/12/2013 at 20:08:47
We seem to be glossing over Roberto having to adjust to managing a top Side.

With respect to Swansea and Wigan supporters, managing Everton Football Club is a different matter.

He appears to have made the jump.

Darren Hind
14 Posted 20/12/2013 at 19:35:40
I dont see how people are saying it’s the players who have changed.

It was Robbie who had his fullbacks staying at home up until the Palace game, Baines, Coleman and indeed Oviedo were always attacking full backs. It was also Martinez who had the two central defenders trying to be something they are not. There is a very stark difference between the fast incisive football were are seeing now and the purposeless dross we saw earlier in the season.

Of course Martinez has changed, the center halves have stopped that heart stopping pass the parcel they were so obviously uncomfortable with and although they are hoofing it far less, they now look the accomplished defenders they always were. Pienaar looks rejuvinated too, hes a different player when he knows the full back is allowed to support, even go past him.

Martinez had to change, it wasnt working, the crowds reaction at several games was evidence of that. . . But after years of having a manager that was either unable or unwilling to change, is that not a good thing ?

To say he has changed things isnt an insult, its a compliment, an acknowledgement that he is capable of change.

As one of his earlier critics I think hes now doing a fantastic job, the players are loving it because not only is he now playing to their strengths he is encouraging them to take the next step, to develop their game - Jagielka racing beyond Lukaku . . .wtf?

Phil Bellis
15 Posted 20/12/2013 at 20:41:52
Nicholas Ryan 693
Not as cool as Shelby Lynne
Harold Matthews
16 Posted 20/12/2013 at 21:46:59
Si /Phil S. I join Steve on this one. Well said lads.
Gavin McGarvey
17 Posted 20/12/2013 at 21:31:24
I think RM has surprised quite a few of us, tbh. I got slated on here for saying I'd sacrifice a few league points for better football after his appointment. Now it seems we might not have to. I wasn't impressed by his appointment (I was annoyed that Wigan had beaten us); I was wrong.

I was, however, though a bit sceptical, ready to give him a chance. At first I was just happy that we were picking up points, whilst secretly not really enjoying the football.

Now we have both points and good football I couldn't be happier. Obviously the odds are against him winning anything here, but there's something about RM and you never know. Coyb

Derek Thomas
18 Posted 21/12/2013 at 00:12:29
Not so much a changed man (as seen from some poeple's perspectives) just a man with a good grasp of his trade, willing and flexible enough to have a Plan B and not be afraid to use it.

I think the Palace game was the tipping point

OFM, TGT (and others) bleated on about having the best squad for 'xx' yrs. but wouldn't let them off the KITAP1 wagon and actually play a bit (which was all I ever wanted as a MOBista).

Martinez seems to have done this, keeping the 'good' Moyes aspects of teamwork, team spirit etc. Which in all honesty NO team should be without and hope to do stuff.

By the simple (but at the same time complicated) method of 'playing to win, not playing not to lose'.

We are where we are... cup from half-empty to half-full at a stroke.


Keep being brave and flexible Bobby.

A decent window and it might be... Champions League... and we WILL be have a laugh then!

Mick Davies
19 Posted 21/12/2013 at 04:03:45
I was actually hoping for RM after Wigan embarrassed us and he paid our club glowing, yet unexpected praise (the club itself, not the staff). He appeared to me an intelligent and humble man who had learned the trade at the tail end of the PL and actually won a trophy with the worst squad in the league. Having his best players sold after keeping the club afloat for so long must have been demoralising and I hoped when he arrived, that working with superior players would give him a platform to build on.

Well, after a couple of shrewd moves in the transfer market and stamping his philosophy on the team, he's exceeded my expectations; I thought it would take a year or two before we got to see the positive, attractive football we're becoming accustomed to and, if he repeats his success in the January window, I think we're in for a rip-roaring second half this season. Our excitement may be raising expectation or adding to pressure, but whatever happens, it's been one hell of a ride so far and I'd just like to thank our boss for showing us once again, what it's like to feel like the greatest club in England once again.

Not content after a 4-1 win! Pride has returned, Sin Miedo!

Matt Traynor
20 Posted 21/12/2013 at 05:22:31
Agree with those who question the "penny dropping" sentiments of the OP re RM. I don't see any Eureka moments, rather I see, going back to pre-season, a team in transition in terms of its playing style. Yes there have been frustrations along the way, but what we have also seen is a team playing 1-touch possession football at times - many of whom looked incabable of such under the previous regime.

Martinez said something recently along the lines that it took his Swansea side 7 months to get playing how he wanted, the Wigan side 5 transfer windows, and this Everton side 7 weeks. From my perspective, last season I saw Jagielka playing a completely different style when he broke into the England team than he did for EFC, so I was convinced these highly paid professional players could adapt, and if not, would be left on the fringes (squad's too small to simply discard them).

I thought RM was our only realistic target in the summer. Given that he had turned down other approaches as he wanted more control, it was likely to be a more seamless transition than if we'd gone for an untried (in EPL terms) foreign manager.

The beginnigns didn't augur well, but a frenetic last day of the transfer window has been pivotal to our season. Fine lines, but I think RM is surpassing this Evertonian's expectations so far.

Anthony McKeown
21 Posted 21/12/2013 at 07:43:49
I am proud to serve our Spanish Catalonian Comandante!
John Crawley
22 Posted 21/12/2013 at 08:29:57
I think Martinez hasn't just transformed the playing style of the team he's energised the whole club with his approach. Look at the Christmas video the club did, with all of the staff involved. Take a look at this blue chrimbo video when Martinez turns up and finally take a read of
Ian Tunstead
23 Posted 21/12/2013 at 07:55:26
I honestly cannot see much of this change of playing style, more a change of personnel, except perhaps for fewer long balls to Fellaini when he would be pushed up top if we were losing or drawing a game.

We have played some very good football at times over the years but always seemed to be missing something. The one time I felt the team wasn't missing something was very short-lived when we had Yakubu in form and injury free, banging them in and the very under-rated Lee Carsley covering the back 4. However, Carsley was quickly ageing and Yakubu was getting fatter and lazier by the day and then eventually had a horrendous injury which was pretty much ended his career at Everton. In all that time since, we have never been able to replace them sufficiently. Neville, Gibson, Rodwell and Heitinga have all done a job at times in midfield and Jelavic and Saha have done it in short spells upfront but it never seemed to last an entire season because of injuries or loss of form.

Now we have an upgraded and less injury-prone version of Gibson in the form of Barry and a youthful, more athletic and complete midfielder in McCarthy playing instead of Neville, and (compared to last season) a more mature and confident Barkley playing instead of the ageing and diminishing Osman. We have a striker with the ability and quality of Saha or Yakubu but also the youth and hunger to want to prove himself in Lukaku. The team finally seems to be complete.

However, it is still early days in the season and injuries and loss of form can happen at any time, we have already lost Deulofeu and Baines. Just like in previous year, we still don't have the squad depth and quality to match the top 4 over the course of the season unless we get very lucky with injuries, but we do at last have a first 11 or 12 to match them if all fit.

Anthony Lewis
24 Posted 21/12/2013 at 11:08:00
I said when we appointed Roberto that he was either going to be a resounding success or an abject failure. However, we needed to change if we wanted to break the glass ceiling. What Moyes was doing simply wasn't going to get us any further.

I thought Roberto would change us with his style of play. But I didn't think the change would be quite as resounding as it has been. He's completely transformed the club, not just on the field but off it. The blue chrimbo videos, the way he talks to the media about Everton, the gradual shift of opinion of the media.

I was always proud to be a blue. But this now feels like he's giving the club back it's identity. The feel good factor is permeating everywhere. I don't think I have ever seen TW or GOT members in such agreeance, there are hardly any arguments anymore.

It's still early days, but long may this revolution continue.


Steavey Buckley
25 Posted 21/12/2013 at 12:27:47
Martinez did an excellent job at Wigan when considering he had to sell his best players every season, but still won the FA Cup.
Nelly Verdonghan
26 Posted 21/12/2013 at 12:45:35
Its not just about what hes doing with the team on the field ...its also how he conducts himself and represents Everton FC off the field... Take a look at the below link and youll see what I mean


The man is pure class !!...unlike that miserable arrogant fucker he took over from....

Nelly Verdonghan
27 Posted 21/12/2013 at 12:48:46
My apologies people but unfortunately much to my dismay the link has failed....the story was run in the Liverpool Echo website last night and relates to Roberto recent surprise visit to a elderly Everton’s home....well worth a look

The heading of the article is

"Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez drops in on 93-year-old Evertonian Annie"

IMO Roberto is doing us all proud

Nelly Verdonghan
28 Posted 21/12/2013 at 12:55:04
Try this link....http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Premier+League/Everton

then scroll down to...

"Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez drops in on 93-year-old Evertonian Annie"

As I’ve said ...pure class !!

Colin Glassar
29 Posted 21/12/2013 at 13:01:10
I've supported Martinez since OFM announced his decision to sign for Fergie United. Despite names like Bielsa, Klopp, Ferguson, etc being bandied around, Martinez was always my first choice. I think our problem in the near future will be keeping him out of the clutches of a major European club.
Mick Davies
30 Posted 21/12/2013 at 13:33:23
The man has been touched by Everton and the club is receiving the feedback. If he wasn't a football manager he'd make a fortune as a psychologist or life coach. He makes the players believe they're invincible and the effect he's had on the likes of Coleman and Jags is evident on and off the pitch. No wonder McCarthy was desperate to follow him (read his account of transfer deadline day. He also says joining Everton was better than winning the cup).

Viva Roberto.

Phil Sammon
31 Posted 21/12/2013 at 14:14:43
Here's an extract of a Martinez interview regarding McCarthy back in September. Firstly I love how positive and confident he is in McCarthy's ability. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I am delighted with the value Martinez places on bringing the right personalities to the club. Ability is clearly vital, but Martinez is committed to maintaining and improving the spirit, morale and work ethic we have at Everton. That makes me proud to be Blue.


Instrumental in that regard has been Martinez, the manager who paid 14m to continue his association with the midfielder and who describes him as a perfect fit for Everton. "He could become a great," the new Everton manager says. "I haven't seen anyone who is such a sponge in football terms as James. He soaks up all the good things of the people around him he's a top footballer in that respect. The fans here are passionate, they like a good character and a good footballer, and they are going to get that combination with James.

"He has not come through the easy way or the quick way, he has not taken three steps forward and then two back, he has always taken slow steps forward. He is very solid. I am very excited about James because he is incredibly experienced and mature with his best years still ahead of him. I know him inside out as a character. Sometimes in football you sign someone and it's only after a while you learn about the human being. In this case, I know the human being and he is a 10. You can bank on him."

Sam Morrison
32 Posted 21/12/2013 at 19:30:18
To be fair the OP does round off with an admittance of being "completely wrong", so it seems a little unfair to focus solely on the sentence about the 'penny dropping'... even if it is PUNISHABLE BY DEATH... (sorry just trying out the new buttons)

Like Selby I was also underwhelmed by the appointment. Like Selby I am more than happy to be proved a complete ignoramus in this respect. I can't remember the last time I looked forward to games as much as I do now.

Raymond Fox
33 Posted 21/12/2013 at 19:53:58
Leaving the results aside, Roberto is obviously a class manager, his actions and words are spot on every occasion.
Our old friend Mr Whelan is spot on when he says that RM will go right to the top, no doubt about it.

Its as plain as the nose on your face, that our biggest problem will be keeping him at Everton!

Jamie Yates
34 Posted 21/12/2013 at 20:53:07
Derek Thomas #739: 'OFM, TGT (and others) bleated on about having the best squad for 'xx' yrs. but wouldn't let them off the KITAP1 wagon and actually play a bit (which was all I ever wanted as a MOBista).'

It's official, I need a glossary of terms for this website. COYB is about my limit! ;-)

Derek Thomas
35 Posted 22/12/2013 at 07:12:43
Jamie #855 our former manager, the ( or that ) ginger 2@...keep it tight and pinch 1...Moyes out brigade...WWYAMCAAHNY
Mark Melton
36 Posted 22/12/2013 at 09:22:00
Two great appointments for this season. RM and Alan Myers. The combination has changed the image of our club. I definitely detect the hand of AM in the Christmas video.
Iain Love
38 Posted 22/12/2013 at 10:56:09
A pleasing thing reading between the lines is that we are/where prepared to give the manager time. Decent knowledgeable fans.
Anto Byrne
39 Posted 22/12/2013 at 06:28:40
When things don't go to plan and we have a bit of a downturn in form and that results in losing games, I do hope the manager can react quickly and make the changes and that all his squad can be favourites not just the chosen few. Will he show his mettle and let players go well before their use-by date?

This team he inherited he has moulded into a side capable of great things. His measure of a great manager will be how he puts things right when things don't go exactly as we would like. Perhaps that was the Palace game and we could have easily lost that 3-0 if we are honest.

Patrick Murphy
40 Posted 22/12/2013 at 11:05:27
An interview with Pienaar in the Guardian, reveals how RM's positivity has surrounded the club. Apparently during the last game v Fulham, RM wanted to know why the players hadn't looked as if they had been enjoying themselves because that is what he wants his team to do, dominate matches, win them but achieve those aims with a smile on their faces.
Phil Sammon
41 Posted 22/12/2013 at 11:23:41
I think that whole interview is worth posting, Patrick. It speaks volumes about the team and the manager.


Jamie Yates
42 Posted 22/12/2013 at 12:45:12
Cheers Derek! Feeling a bit of a lesser Blue having fallen out of whack in terms of all these acronyms!
Jamie Yates
43 Posted 22/12/2013 at 12:47:15
PS: Wahay, got that last one... same to you mate! :-)
Ajay Gopal
44 Posted 22/12/2013 at 12:26:02
The gossip column in todays BBC already reporting that "Barcelona are keeping an eye on Roberto Martinez as a potential future boss after an impressive start to his reign at Everton." Grrrr….

Personally, I would like to believe that Martinez will achieve something significant with Everton before he moves on. Whether that achievement is Champions League, a Cup or the League title itself, I dont know. He just doesnt seem like a short-term kind of guy.

Richard Tarleton
45 Posted 22/12/2013 at 19:17:09
I too was a sceptic, but he's so different from Moyes. he tries to win games, Moyes only tried not to lose.

Barkley's treatment is the key indicator of the new braver philosophy. Under Moyes he had a stunning debut against QPR and then disappeared from view, Moyes was protecting him as he did Rooney, much to the latter's disgust, Martinez has played him and given him the role of a classic Continental number 10 and the boy has thrived. Coleman too, who I thought was our best player today, has thrived by being made into a right back and not a right sided midfield player.

I just hope Martinez does not get taken by Man Utd or a top European side.

Art Jones
46 Posted 23/12/2013 at 02:40:04
I am also one of the fans who was not thrilled by RM's appointment. Not that I thought it would be a disaster but more because I was so much pro-Moyes. I was of the opinion that whoever replaced Davy was on a hiding to nothing. The progress we made under our previous manager could never be matched IMO and the signings he made that earned us a lot of cash would also be difficult to replicate.

Before Moyes, our average finishing position was 15th-16th which went up to 6th in his tenure. I was of the opinion that RM would be forced to sell most of our better players with little given to him to replace them.

Of course, all this has been proved wrong and indeed his ability as a coach/tactician has been something of a revelation. I still think that we owe a massive debt of gratitude to Moyes. He dragged us kicking and screaming into the 21st century starting with Finch Farm, still one of the best training facilities in the country, but the appointment of Roberto is a big step forward and believe me, 12 months ago, if I'd said that, then most of my closest friends would have thought I was cracking up. ;)

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